Asynchronous Virtual Classes and UX Testing (10%):

This portion of your grade includes asynchronous virtual class work and a short user testing project we will be doing to help students in CS Junior Design. This is a hybrid course, and six of our class meetings will be conducted asynchronously (not necessarily at our normal meeting time) and virtually (not necessarily in our normal meeting space). I will provide guidance on what coursework you should be doing on your own time and in your own space on these days.

Advisory Reports (5%)

Overview

Students in the CS 3311/LMC3432 Junior Design Capstone course partner with customers or develop their own project ideas over the course of two semesters. Because our course topic centrally concerns ethics and honor, we will be assisting teams in this class by preparing ethics advisory reports on their chosen projects’ fields. We will take the following steps to complete this assignment:

Process

  1. Review client sheet and form groups based on interest (1/16)
  2. Review this guide, focusing on the “Evaluating sources” and “Home” tabs. http://libguides.gatech.edu/English1102and1102/home
  3. Write an annotated bibliography with each student contributing 3 resources. Each entry should include 2-4 sentences summarizing the argument of the resource in question. As a whole, the annotated bibliography should give the junior design team a comprehensive overview of the literature around the ethics of a certain topic.
  4. Write an advisory report. It should include

A. An overview: What team are you advising? What is their project? What field (i.e. technology, health, etc.) is the project within?

B. Advice and recommendations

  • Write a 3-4 page report (about 300 words per student) that synthesizes the findings of your annotated bibliography and addresses the questions below. The report should give the junior design team the background they need to make ethical decisions in their project’s scope.
  • What are the big picture ethical questions that people ask in the field? What ethical issues should the group be aware of?
  • What precedents have been set for dealing with potential ethical issues?
  • What general recommendations do you have for a project of this kind? For example, a group working on a rideshare app might need to know about critiques of ridesharing and ride hailng from several different perspectives (safety, economics, environmental impact, etc.)

C. The annotated bibliography

Assessment:

You will be assigned two grades for your project, a product grade and a process grade.

  • The product grade is determined by the quality of the end product. I will ask whether or not the assignment fully answered the prompt (rhetorical situation), if it made an argument or developed a position (stance), if it used evidence to support its argument (development of ideas), and if the information was organized in a clear and compelling way (organization). I will also look at conventions and design for medium to assess the professionalism of the document.
  • The process grade is determined by your involvement in the making of the project. If you don’t do any work, you can receive a 0% for the process portion of your grade and a 100% for the project portion, for a final grade of 50% on the assignment. This grade will be determined by the students in the work group. Each student will anonymously assign each other student in their work group a grade. I will take the average of the grades for each group member and use that to assign the process grade.

Common First Week Video (3%):

Students in all sections of English 1101 and English 1102 share a common assignment, due January 14th. You will record a 60-90 second video addressing a specific aspect of multimodal (written, oral, visual, electronic, or nonverbal) communication that you will engage with over the course of the semester. You will describe challenges you have faced in the past using this form of communication and articulate a plan for the future to overcome these challenges.

Final Portfolio (15%):

All sections of English 1101 and 1102 will complete a portfolio project in lieu of a final exam. The portfolio will include a reflective essay and several examples of your work throughout the semester with brief introductions for each example.

Group Project (12.5%)

The WOVEN web project will be a jointly produced, curated, and public-facing resource. Each student will post a one-minute pitch to Piazza on or before March 11th. Based on student interest, each section will develop six of these project pitches in teams of 3-5 students. The final project must include examples of all five modes of communication. Examples of previous student web projects may be found at http://www.doricoblentz.com/renaissances/student-projects/ and http://www.doricoblentz.com/defending-society/student-projects/

Paper 1 (10%)

Paper 1 is a 3-4 page (900-1200 word) genre imitation paper with an attached reflection and peer reviews of others’ essays. Students will imitate Sir Philip Sidney’s argumentative structure in Defense of Poesy and write their own “defense of” paper. Students may defend a controversial work of film, television, or literature.

Step 1: Take 5-10 minutes to write by hand, without stopping, on the subject of controversial fictional works (this encompasses TV, film, novels, graphic novels, podcasts, etc.) today. Imagine how you might defend a specific work. This step gives you your PURPOSE.

Step 2: Think about who you would want to convince that this work is good. Other concerned citizens? The U.S. government? A specific religious or secular community? This step gives you your AUDIENCE. Once you’ve decided upon your audience, think of the most persuasive STANCE you can adopt and how to most effectively communicate it.

Step 3: Imitate Sidney’s GENRE as you begin drafting your defense of the work of fiction you chose. Your MEDIUM and DESIGN follow the conventions of the traditional academic paper (i.e. 12-point font, one-inch margins, double spacing).

After you have completed these pre-writing steps, begin your paper. Remember that you may want to revisit this argument and expand it using visual and aural resources later for your video essay.

Your paper should be accompanied by a brief (about 200-400 word) reflection that describes your writing process and how you completed steps 1-3.

You may consult this source for examples and definitions of each piece of the argument: https://www.thoughtco.com/parts-of-a-speech-rhetoric-1691589

An “A” paper will develop a claim logically and coherently, offering relevant evidence and persuasive analysis. It will adapt its stance to the audience at hand, following the conventions of the genre. It will address all elements of the assignment, including peer review and reflection. It will include the following rhetorical moves:

  • An opening anecdote (exordium)
  • A description of your reason for writing, the occasion for your argument. For instance, you might argue people unfairly condemn a work of fiction for promoting sexist ideas when, in fact, it empowers women (narration + proposition).
  • An analysis of the work of fiction exploring its positive aspects and influence (partition)
  • Evidence offered as proof of your claims (confirmation)
  • An acknowledgement of possible exceptions that anticipates likely arguments against your case (refutation/reprehensio)
  • A conclusion with an exhortation to take action (peroration)

“B” papers meet the requirements of A papers, but in fall short in one or two respects

“C” papers have an argument of average quality, but miss either important aspects of the rhetorical situation or skip some of the rhetorical moves above. Its effectiveness may also be compromised by problems with grammar, mechanics, or organization.

“D” papers fall short in the same way as “C” papers but lack an argument and include many grammatical, stylistic, and proofreading errors

“F” papers have no argument, poor organization, and many grammatical, stylistic, and proofreading errors. They do not attempt either to analyze the rhetorical situation or to make the required rhetorical moves.

 

Paper 2 (10%)

Throughout the semester, we will engage in class discussion and write questions for Piazza. Our prompt for Paper 2 will be drawn from students’ suggested prompts. Students can expect to write a paper on one of the works of Renaissance drama or literature we study as a class. It will be of the same length as Paper 1 and will also include an attached reflection and peer reviews of others’ essays.

Alternately, students may complete a theater review assignment.

Theater Review Assignment Overview

Write a performance review of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s production of Henry V at Shakespeare Tavern. The review will be 900-1200 words in length and include at least one image (contact me for the images the ASC’s publicist provides). Your “user” (audience) is a mix of the general public and academics. The first part of your audience is trying to decide if a play is worth spending money to see. The second part is more interested in details of how the theater company staged the play so that they can use this information in their arguments. For instance, if a scholar is arguing that 21st-century productions of Julius Caesar are significantly different in how they treat sovereignty than those of the 19th century, they would need to be able to cite aspects of a performance such as costuming, props, blocking, and casting. Your review would give them part of the evidence they need to say, for example, that 21st century productions typically de-emphasize crowns, scepters, or other visual cues for sovereignty.

This review will be posted to the class blog after you’ve written it. The review is due 3/15, and Henry V runs through 3/24, so maybe you will influence people to go and see it (or not). People outside of our class read the blog! Keep in mind that the people who are performing might see what you write.

Process
1) Research

Read this article on theater reviews for the general public: https://www.theatrefolk.com/blog/write-play-review/

Read three theater reviews of your choice from this site that focuses more on the academic audience: https://glassymargents.com/category/theater-reviews/

2) Plan

Write some questions for yourself about the play. Decide what you want to communicate to your audiences. Bring pen and paper with you to the theater – they will make fun of you if you try to take notes on an electronic device.

3) Attend

Go to the performance. You can find a calendar here https://www.shakespearetavern.com/index.php?/performances/now_playing

You will need to go opening weekend (Feb 28, March 1, March 2, or March 3) in order to be able to complete a rough draft for peer review on 3/8).

4) Write

Write 900-1200 words on the performance. Include at least one image (you can get the professional ones from me)

Assessment

You will be graded on:

  • Rhetorical awareness: Did you do all the parts of the assignment? Do you write something that is useful for both the general public and the academic audiences? Does your tone match the genre?
  • Stance: Do you simply describe your reaction to the play (i.e. say you liked it or didn’t), or do you understand the director’s vision and account for it?
  • Development of ideas: Do you use specific examples of the play to support your claims about it? Examples of evidence include: audience reaction, blocking, costuming, lines cut out or added in from the playtext, props, choreography, lighting, sound, gesture.
  • Organization: Do you use full paragraphs? Are they ordered in a coherent and logical progression?
  • Conventions and Design for Medium: Is the review carefully edited, or are there typos? Does it incorporate an image and take advantage of the designs of the blog medium?

 

Paper 3 (10%)

This paper will be a 3-4 page revision and extension of previous coursework to be determined based on student interest. Like the other papers, students will attach a reflection and peer reviews of others’ essays.

Piazza Participation (7%):

Throughout the semester, students will post discussion questions and responses to the instructor’s prompts to Piazza. Four of these responses will be in the form of homework in the designated homework folder sections. The others will be in the form of questions. These questions may be lengthy or short: the important part is that the question has the potential to start discussion. This part of the class trains your ability to ask good questions, and some of the best questions may be used as prompts for later essays.

Examples of good questions from prior classes:

  • (From a class comparing the Disney Renaissance to the English Renaissance) “With Disney announcing so many remakes of the classic Disney Renaissance movies, such as Aladdin, Mulan, and Beauty and the Beast, is it fair to say Disney is going through another Renaissance? If so, how might this renaissance incorporate different values and themes than the first one?”
  • (Regarding the fairytale “Cat and Mouse in Partnership”) “The author chooses to have the pot of fat stored in the church, calling it a safe place. Why have the church be the place where it’s kept? Is it because religion was relevant in German culture and the Grimm brothers saw it as a reflection of that culture? Is the cat being gluttonous in the church a social commentary on Christianity?”
  • (Regarding Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors) “At the end of Act 2 Scene 2 of Comedy of Errors, there seems to be a rhyming scheme that appears when Adriana’s conversation ends and Antipholus’s begins. I’m curious as to why that happens. Is Shakespeare trying to attract attention to the verses that are being said? Why is it that it isn’t just Antipholus that has a rhyming scheme at the end but that Adriana’s words also take part in that rhyming scheme?”

Video Essay (12.5%)

Overview

Each student will produce a 3-5 minute video essay. These essays may approach the course themes of ethics and honor in several ways.

1) Essays may explore ethics and/or honor in public policy by exploring discourse around issues such as Net Neutrality, affordable housing, whistleblowing, or other controversial topics.

2) Essays may explore ethics and/or honor in industry debates (for instance, the ethical responsibility of companies manufacturing self-driving cars). This choice may build off of the research students accomplished for the advisory report.

3) Essays may explore ethics and/or honor from a cultural studies perspective by examining representations of honor in Renaissance drama and modern popular culture. For example, students might compare the St. Crispin’s Day speech with the locker room speech in Hoosier’s.

The video essay assignment is designed to:

  • Give you experience with the tools of video editing
  • Exercise your ability to identify and adapt to audience
  • Invite you to explore the affordances of the video medium
  • Practice nonverbal communication

Video essays will be graded according to the following criteria:

Rhetorical Awareness:

  • Do you have a clear sense of audience? Are you making assumptions based on your own knowledge or value system, or do you adapt your message to take into account what they might know and believe?
  • Does your tone (casual or formal) match the anticipated audience?
  • Do you answer all of the aspects of the assignment?

Stance:

  • Do you make an argument? Could someone reasonably disagree with it, or is it an obvious statement of fact?
  • Do you make clear the stakes of your argument and why it matters?

Development of Ideas

  • Do you pair evidence with analysis persuasively for each claim?
  • Do you anticipate potential counterarguments and address them?

Organization

  • Do you transition between your analyses in a logical sequence? Do your analyses build upon previous points and support the overall argument?
  • Does your video essay have a beginning, a middle, and an end?
  • Does the footage sync up in a logical way with the narration?

Conventions

  • Are there errors (this does not include intentional, audience-driven decisions to use casual speech) in the written or spoken elements of the film?

Design for Medium

  • Does the text take advantage of the video essay medium by combining images, sound effects, narration, camera techniques, editing techniques, etc. in order to produce meaning?
  • Are the images and sound in the film of high quality?